Houston's 33rd annual Pride Parade took on an emotional note just a day after New York became the sixth state in the U.S. to pass a law guaranteeing marriage equality to same-sex couples.
Support groups, local businesses and international companies were all represented in the parade along Westheimer, which lasted about 90 minutes, following an earlier-than-normal start. Crowds were several deep for the wild parade, where people watching is as fun as seeing the floats pass by.
Mayor Annise Parker tweeted about the synergy that was in the air just as the parade started. In the crowd, spectators wore shirts with sayings like "Some women love love. Get over it." In the parade, marchers waved signs saying, "I love my gay son" and "God loves everyone." By 9 p.m., just 30 minutes into the parade, glitter seemed to cover every sweaty body in a six-blog radius.
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At Catbirds, the "bar on the bend" of Westheimer, spectators climbed a fence at the back of the building to get onto the roof for optimal parade viewing. Across the street, residents of a high-rise gathered on their balconies. El Real's enclosed patio was home to a party hosted by Legacy Community Health Services.
Employees and supporters of NASA got perhaps the biggest reaction from the crowd as they marched carrying a banner that read "33 Years; Our First Time." Other organizations included Wells Fargo, PFLAG, Jenni's Noodle House and several local churches.
Organizers estimate more than 150,000 spectators watched the Houston parade this year. For full coverage of the New York marriage equality vote, check out our sister paper the Village Voice.